Tuesday Jun 16, 2009

JavaFX: Busy Bees

You may have noticed that before JavaOne there wasn't the normal amount of blogging in the Java/JavaFX world. But during and since, its definitely made up for lost ground. Wow.

Like about JavaFX (eyes on the prizes ?). Obviously, there's been a bunch of blogging about the new features in JavaFX 1.2, that was released at the show. Top 5 feature lists, top 10 feature lists, the new layout support, experiences deploying from NetBeans to the new JavaFX 1.2 phones, taking the new charting component out for a spin, and evaluating the new performance improvements. And the series on Pacman in JavaFX is now complete.

Of course the samples gallery got an upgrade too: simply the quickest way to see what JavaFX can do nowadays.

Founding Swing team member Amy Fowler did another awesome blog on how to use JavaFX to give your Swing app a zappier look, and Swing/FX team stars Richard Bair and Jasper Potts have started a new multi-player blog where they've already taking a fascinating deep dive on how to skin JavaFX app. And as Tor so ably demonstrated, the upcoming (end of the year) designer tool is stirring up some interest.

Interest in JavaFX is definitely up since JavaOne !

Wednesday Jun 03, 2009

JavaOne, Day two: Mobility and more !

Is it hump day already ? Day two: all about smaller devices !

More App Stores

The day started out with a keynote by Sony-Ericsson, who, guess what, are opening an app store for Java ME apps ! Together with the previous day's announcement from Verizon opening up their application developer model to Java ME, and of course Sun's new Java Store, the Planetarium's prediction that this is the year of the app store, really is coming true !

JavaFX Mobile 1.2

JavaFX Mobile developers are getting that performance boost as part of the JavaFX 1.2 release (20% in runtime perf, about 1/3 reduction in compiler output). And of course all the other goodies like the cross device UI controls.

Eric showed great new JavaFX apps at the Sun Mobility keynote: ReallyMe for social proximity, and PayPal (pictured) for mobile payments.

JavaFX Mobile Phones

Sony-Ericsson wrote a Twitter client (perhaps not as good as this one) live in their keynote and deployed it to three of their JavaFX phones, including those running WindowsMobile and SymbianOS). Best of all, JavaFX Mobile 1.2 phones are on sale at JavaOne, some even got hurled at the Mobility Keynote.

Java ME

The testing framework Java Verified goes into open source, and plays a central role in the new anti-fragmentation initiative JATAF (behind which Orange and Vodafone threw their support today), Java ME 3.0 SDK running on a MAC is on show at Java Utopia, and the recent PhoneMe milestone 4 release.

And in preview for the end of the year....

JavaFX (running on embedded Java SE on Linux) seen running on a new Qualcomm smartbook, the JavaFX TV platform running on the LG TV.

Tuesday Jun 02, 2009

Kicking the tires, free, on Garbage First

Just a note to clarify the terms of using the Garbage First collector in Java SE 6u14. Right now, because its still new-ish and not thoroughly battle tested, its turned off by default and intended for use to evaluate it. As you know, many people already have been doing so. Here's the command line option to turn it on:

   -XX:+UnlockExperimentalVMOptions -XX:+UseG1GC

Once the team has ironed out all the kinks (and please, let them know if you find any !), it will be ready for primetime, and will be in JDK7, where it will be available for free, no strings, under the usual terms as part of the JDK.

The Janitor is told that an earlier version of the release notes implied that you had to have a support contract to use G1. Some certainly ran with that ball and even made a topical story out of it !

Our bad. So we made the notes clearer, because you don't need to do anything special to try it out. Unless you want your kinks fixed before everyone else gets the fixes either in the next update or in JDK 7. In which case, there is nice little program waiting just for you :)

JavaOne, Day One, News

Halfway through the first day of JavaOne 2009, so much has already happened !

There'll be more about JavaFX and Java ME tomorrow, but here's the announcements about Java SE and JavaFX so far.

The Java Store
What's the thing that will allow Java and JavaFX developers to get their apps out to a massive audience ? You knew it was coming ! The Java Store doing a restricted preview of its late summer grand opening, which means you need to sign up to try it out. The front end is a JavaFX application, the backend, which also includes the Java Warehouse, where developers will submit applications that show up in the store, is a Java EE application running on Glassfish. The first iteration is for desktop applications, with mobile apps coming later.

JavaFX 1.2
Surprise ! There's a new mobile emulator, there's a long list of new cross device GUI components, layouts, support for RSS and ATOM feeds, the startup on the desktop is about 40% quicker. Try out the new samples. And there's preview versions of JavaFX on Solaris, Linux.

JavaFX on TV, as seen on an LG TV set-top box ! A new JavaFX Authoring tool ! Totally new super fast graphics stack for JavaFX. All three by the end of this year.

Java SE
Java SE 6u14 is out with the new 64bit browser plugin, and an evaluation version of the new G1 collector. The preview of JDK 7 is released (based on Milestone 3), and a first sighting of Project Jigsaw, showing the JDK partitioned into a set of small modules: jdk-base, jdk-awt, jdk-swing, jdk-tool etc that can be loaded (quickly!) with minimal dependencies.

Deja vu moment
Rewriting StarOffice in JavaFX ?

From the JavaOne Keynote

Some big names on stage already: eBay, Rim, Sony, Verizon, Intel. Stay tuned for a wrapup later on.

Friday May 29, 2009

See you next week

See you next week !

Or, stick The Planetarium in your favorite feed reader to get all the show news.

Or, follow The Planetarium on Twitter from the show.

Wednesday May 27, 2009

Guessing the JavaOne news

If you believe everything that you read, then you have some surprises in store at next week's JavaOne conference.

A) Its going to be the last one.
B) Sun's going to launch an app store
C) Microsoft is giving a keynote
D) You'll see a BluRay player streaming content.
E) There'll be this crazy Java Utopia thing in the pavillion hall
F) Sony-Ericsson will announce something big about mobility and Java
G) You'll get a sighting of Project Jigsaw in action

But, you've probably been before: JavaOne, all its organization and chaos, never works out how people think it will.

That's the fun of it :)

Tuesday May 26, 2009

Trending towards JavaOne

The Janitor isn't one to fall prey to the latest trends, but there's one trend that this week will follow: there won't be much news this week about Java SE, Java ME, JavaFX or JavaCard before the start of JavaOne next week.

But if you go by what people are searching for, its easy to see the cyclical nature of the interest in the JavaOne show, where many of the companies involved in Java save up their technology announcements. And you can clearly see the growing interest in JavaFX since May 2007 when it was announced, in JDK 7 since the release of Java SE 6 in December 2006, continued interest in Java TV (stay tuned), and in Java updates. Even Project Vector is showing an interesting recent spike.

And in a trend few would have predicted for JavaOne in 2001, Microsoft will be giving a keynote (about interoperability with .NET).

Friday May 22, 2009

GR8 time in Copenhagen

This helpful article about how the Groovy language plugs into Java SE 6, together with a nice code example of how to execute arbitrary Groovy code, came at the end of the first GR8 conference in wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen.

The talk about the Griffon hatchling looked interesting. To get an idea of where this framework that combines Groovy with Swing,  is at here's a Twitter client in Griffon. Guillaume's DSL talk was reviewed in detail, and there was lots of twittering.

Maybe there will be another next year ?

Thursday May 21, 2009

JavaFX Styling

What with all noise about Project Vector starting to swirl around, its easy to miss some of the JavaFX news that's been going on. Don't expect to hear much from the JavaFX engineers, they're all heads down on JavaFX 1.2 and JavaOne talks.

And there's more in store ;)

But javafx.com continues to fill up the racks with fresh items on developing in JavaFX. There's new help if your app needs bust-a-moves backward, and help if your app needs a styling refresh. Try some of these off the peg accessories.

And for a more retro look, relive 80s chic in this two part series on writing PacMan in JavaFX, part 1 and part 2.

Some are even using JavaFX to give others some style tips ! Who'd have thought it ?

Wednesday May 20, 2009

JDK watch: Looking good for M3 and JavaOne

You'll see in the latest JDK 7 build that the new G1 collector is getting a good bashing, with a number of important bugs fixed.

The preview implementation of JSR 292 is in, and the rumors that reached the all hearing Planetarium ears turned out to be true: Charlie's trying it out in JRuby, and so's Frank with Jython.

So together with compressed object pointers, NIO 2 (which Alan has been blogging about at length - from the new filesystem API, to monitoring direct buffers), an important tweak to the classloader, SDP API and Solaris implementation, and SCTP support, which Chris blogs about today at length, things are in great shape for Milestone 3, which will be released at JavaOne.

Tuesday May 19, 2009

Countdown to JavaOne 2009

Inside the walls of the Planetarium you can gauge people's stress levels quite easily: Are they counting off the days until JavaOne begins, or the number of days until it ends ?

Of course all the sessions are online now, and you should be signing up because some of them are already full. And of course, students get a free pass. And of course who will the special guests will be, in this, the year of the app store ?

Alex Miller posted a nice list of JDK 7 / Java SE 7 talks, and Terrence posted a comprehensive preview of mobility related activities. There's a bunch of JavaFX stuff going on (so much more to say this year), like Jim's panel session, and many, many others.

Hope to see you there !

Monday May 18, 2009

More JSR 292: Angels and Demons

One of the exciting things going on today in the technlogy industry is the proliferation of new computing languages. Another is that the JVM is evolving to run most of them really, really well. Most exciting is how the ideas between the languages are being begged, borrowed and stolen, to the ultimate benefit of developers writing all kinds of applications. The Planetarium has long been a subscriber of the Darwinian notion that diversity spurs innovation.

So it was interesting to see that Sun's own John Rose was at the Lang.NET symposium up in Redmond last month, talking about JSR 292, which you can watch here\*, and giving an interview, which you can watch here\*, about the new work to turbo-charge multiple languages for JDK 7.

And, no doubt, participating in the sharing and borrowing of good ideas with the other attendees.

Frank Wierbicki, Dr Jython, was there too, talking about Jython on the JVM. And there was a crazy rumor that Charlie hacked up an experimental version of the JRuby compiler over the weekend to use JSR 292's invokedynamic bytecode, coming to the JDK 7 builds real soon. Maybe there will be more from Charlie at JavaOne.

\* You'll be asked to install Silverlight to see these vids. Just sayin.

Tuesday May 12, 2009

Mega-store coming to town

Imagine a town where a new store opens on the main street every few months. Sign of a healthy local economy.

Seems to be that way for application stores: There's a smell of new paint over at at Nokia's Ovi store, which recently decided to close its charity branch, ready for its imminent opening, Rim's App World's already had its grand opening (although people are still having trouble finding where it is) and the open-air stalls are filling up down near the tourist information booth in Google's App Market for Android phones. And still, the big success story has been Apple's app store, with its loud, hip music, serving its billion app and making many of its own headlines (and seducing some notable engineers).

But yesterday's news that Vodafone is going to open its own store by the end of this year is like the signs going up at the edge of town that a big box megastore store is opening up against the backdrop of what are starting to look like a collection of small specialty stores: Apple's wildly successful app store has a maximum reach of 31million users. Rim's store caters to only one kind of customer, those with a Blackberry, and so on.

Vodafone's store will be able to open its doors to nearly 300million users, or a billion if you include the ones it can get through Verizon in the US and China Mobile in Asia. And all those millions of shoppers already have a store account there, they just didn't know it. And while technical details are eerily scarce, it appears to be aiming at muliple platforms to do so.

2009 is indeed turning out to be the year of the application store.

Monday May 11, 2009

The state of JavaFX tooling

All the JavaFX tools are based on the basic command-line tools contained in the JavaFX SDK. Tools to invoke the runtime, compiler, and package, and document JavaFX applications.

And of course, since JavaFX is itself built in and on Java, the tried and tested Java tools are often useful, especially in profiling and debugging JavaFX applications. Like using the profiler in the Java ME SDK 3.0 to profile JavaFX applications on mobile devices. Or JConsole for seeing what's going on in a JavaFX application on the desktop.

NetBeans has long supported JavaFX, even as the technology was still developing. And there has been Eclipse support for some time, though perhaps not to first class support level in NetBeans. However this might change now that Exadel is developing another Eclipse plugin for JavaFX (NB: Original post said JBoss was making it, sorry!). Such competition has historically been good for making tools better. So it looks like support for the JavaFX Script coder is building out nicely, whether or not IntelliJ decides to support it.

And in the quest to have such developers work closely with graphic designers, the JavaFX Production Suite is a big help, such as for writing graphics-rich games, such as this article details.

And with the JavaFX team at Sun working on a new JavaFX design tool, those with a more artistic bent than a technical one should be able to join in the fun.


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